“I’m an avid equestrian, and what impressed me so much about the neighborhood the first time I saw it was how quiet and serene it was — how it had more of a country, equestrian feel than that of a major city or suburb,” said Alissa Winkler, 43, a stay-at-home mom who moved to the neighborhood with her husband, Lawrence, 11 years ago.
“Being close to the park means I’m surrounded by incredible woods and wildlife, from falcons to foxes. And the houses are so far apart, it’s like you’re in your own little oasis every time you go home.”
Winkler said the peaceful setting means her kids, Marielle, 8, and Preston, 9, can roam around the neighborhood at will.
“You see kids all around the neighborhood exploring and playing outside in the woods, just like I did when I was little,” Winkler said.
Sullivan said he and his wife, Maggy, moved to Potomac Falls from Bethesda’s Westgate neighborhood in part because of the advantages Potomac Falls offered a young family like theirs.
“Bethesda was great, but like many growing families, we faced the decision to either improve the home we had or move,” Sullivan said. “When we started looking around for a home that would accommodate our family, we were shocked by how much that would cost us in Bethesda.”
They found that they could get more house for their money in Potomac Falls, and they found that living there allowed them to have the same wide array of school choices as they did in Bethesda.
“Potomac Elementary is walkable from here, and the middle school and high school aren’t far, either,” Sullivan said. “There are lots of other private and parochial schools right in our immediate vicinity.”
Sullivan was one of several residents to say the lack of easy Metro access is a downside to living in Potomac Falls — the closest stations are a 20-minute drive away.
Still, Sullivan said his wife’s commute to a downtown law firm “is not substantially longer than it was from Bethesda, even though we’re now seven or eight miles further past the Beltway.”
“The ease of access to Clara Barton Parkway is great, and you get to live in a neighborhood that’s physically beautiful, with a magnificent tree canopy and lots of space for kids to run around outside,” Sullivan said. “It’s an almost bucolic feeling, and you don’t have to sacrifice access to normal amenities you’d find in Bethesda or even in downtown D.C.”
Amy Reinink is a freelance writer.